Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Master Lock

This Master Lock is a patriotic tribute that was available shortly after September 11th. A portion of the proceeds from the lock sales benefited the American Red Cross. An example of a household object that reflects September 11th, this object doesn't directly reference the Twin Towers. It is clearly linked to the impact of September 11th. This is another example of a product that invokes a corporate sales pitch.

Charm Bracelet

This charm bracelet was created by Kirks Folly. Clearly a tribute to September 11th, this bracelet has a variety of charms (such as a I love NY charm, a twin towers tribute, and a 9/11 charm). An interesting jewelery piece, this object is probably geared towards younger adults or teens. This object does seem to impart the goal of a charm bracelet by imparting a message of remembrance. Overall, a very interesting tribute example.

Monday, December 22, 2008


This stamp reflects the events of September 11th. An interesting reflection, one has to wonder what you would stamp with this tribute?

September 11th Thimble

A thimble tribute to September 11th. This object is not functional and definitely more a collectible item.

Tribute Tissues

A new addition, this box of tissues is made by Laurel. The box features the Twin Towers framed by an American flag. The box features a number of patriotic messages, and also mentions a donation to the relief effort. This object is one of the best examples of a household item demonstrating the impact of September 11th. It is an interesting message this box of tissues imparts. A box of tissues is connected to sorrow and mourning, which is exactly what 9/11 invokes. Overall, one of the most unique tributes I've seen, and a supporting example that no event has had a greater impact on material culture than September 11th.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Jones Soda

Jones Soda offered this tribute to September 11th with a number tribute labels. Various consumer goods reflected September 11th, but not necessarily to the extent of these examples. This tribute effort is interesting with its use of these images as subject of product labels. Is this a respectful way of to pay homage? Is there an underlying goal of selling more product? I'm sure Jones Soda would offer a full and reasonable explanation for these bottles, but the point here is bringing to light the far reaching impact of September 11th on consumer goods and how corporations integrated it and "harnessed" this event.

Re-Build the WTC

This "kit" from the International World of Toys offers a chance to rebuild the World Trade Center. "Rebuild our belief by ourselves." I believe the phrase they wanted was rebuild our belief in ourselves? Overall, an interesting object. It could be an activity for families to carry out. I can't imagine children putting this "toy" together, nor understanding the implication of the message of "healing." This is a common issue with toys that integrate September 11th, some of which I've posted here from my collection.

Shelia's Tribute

This object is from Custom Wood Gifts by Shelia! This company is "the nations leading gift designer and manufacturer of miniature architectural replicas in wood, created by artist Shelia Thompson." Of course, one would expect that September 11th would impact and be reflected by this line of colletibles (like other examples featured as a part of my collection). Another great example showing how September 11th is featured throughout all types of material goods. More so than any other event in American history.

Friday, November 28, 2008


I purchased this stereopticon kit and assembled it to provide the necessary tool to view these special commemorative images. These images were created by a photographer in NYC. This images offer a unique perspective of the Twin Towers site and destruction. I ended up also helping get a set donated to the New York State Historical Association's collection.

Music Box

Music box tribute.

Laser Light

This "hologram" prism is a shining tribute. This is a standard object at any county fair or store featuring an odd collection of swords, moving water pictures, and Native America dolls (Oneonta mall shout out).

Commerative Plaque

Not much to comment about this limited edition plaque. The question of use does arise about this object. What does someone do with a commemorative plaque such as this? Is there a religious element to this? Does someone have this plaque as a part of their tribute or shrine to September 11th? As I recall when I purchased this object, the plaque was maufactured from WTC steel. How do you verify such a claim? A certificate of authenticity could be there way of providing proof, but it isn't clear to me that this is there reason (or claim) for the certificate.

Flag Holder Tribute

A pattern for handcrafting your own flag holder, this object is a reflection on that famous World War II pose, but of course, the flag planting here is carried out by fire men.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

McCall's Pattern

McCall's, long-time and well-known clothing pattern-maker, offered this patriotic collection with profits donated to the Twin Towers fund. Another supporting example of a company offering a product for sale to consumers using patriotism and a charitable incentive.

Toys with a Purpose

September 11th's impact is seen in a number of children's toys. In this case, this wooden puzzle assembled creates a model of the Twin Towers. An interesting choice for a "toy with a purpose," what would purpose would a child take from this toy?

Rural America Reacts

This tribute belt buckle is from the Clay County Fair in Iowa. An example of how September 11th impacted all parts of America, even rural America. Companies and organizations created objects like this as memorials or tributes, and people bought them to connect to an event, that in this case, happened hundreds of miles away (and arguably in a very different world). This buckle illustrates the power and meaning that such a simple object can take on and have to people.

Source for Inspiration

The influence of September 11th appears in many ways. This "miracle cross" necklace was inspired by the warped steel beams that remained at the site of the Twin Towers, which resembled a cross. Again, here is an object whose purchase conveys to the consumer a connection to the Twin Towers and September 11th. This items has an obvious religious implication too. Overall, a unique object that is a direct creation of September 11th.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Mickey Mouse: American Symbol

Mickey Mouse in a NY firefighter's uniform? Disney's Mickey Mouse, arguably one of the best known symbols of America, would be expected to reflect September 11th. This pin continues to support the argument that September 11th influenced material culture (goods, products, everyday materials, etc) beyond anything or any event that American history has ever seen. One can argue that Mickey Mouse has appeared in many different forms, such as Santa Claus or wearing your favorite baseball team's uniform, but Mickey paying tribute to the victim's of a tragic event in American history? This object also provides further evidence of how September 11th was used as a marketing tool by corporations. Mickey Mouse wearing a NY firefighter's outfit will probably resonate more with people after seeing the tragic events of September 11th unfold, and they can consume this item and help make a difference because a portion of their purchase will be donated to the victims. A win-win for everyone. Is this idea way off?

Use of the Flag

This Zippo lighter is a good example of how the flag became such an essential symbol for companies to use in their products, and people to connect with after September 11th. Of course the flag always has played a role in consumer goods, but there was a clear revival after 9/11. The question centers on why companies would integrate this symbol into their products? The answer seems simple enough: to better sell their goods and create a connection between their objects and September 11th. Is it the almighty the dollar that drives this company reaction? Companies like Zippo and others probably have many reasons for creating items like this lighter, but at the end of the day, sales drive decisions and were also the incentive for these companies to donate to the victims or support funds of 9/11 (because sales brought in money and the companies donated the profits or a portion of them to 9/11 causes).

Corporations React

This ceramic plate with its flag pattern is a great example of how corporations reacted to September 11th and created their own tribute to this event. A number of questions arise around this object: As a company, why create an object like this as a tribute?; Is creating an object like this and selling it the best way to give back?; How much money was raised?; and What do consumers think of this approach?

Freedom the Eagle Action Figure

This toy is an American eagle action figure. A unique object obviously created in reaction to September 11th. This action figure has a flag spear. A playful object, this toy offers a message of patriotism and transforms the eagle into a super hero figure.

Case Knife Tribute

This Case knife is one of many tributes to September 11th, especially focusing on American symbols. This object clearly has a patriotic marketing message tied to it, and thus, has a consumer driven focuse.

Lunch Box

This is an interesting object. Billed as a collectible tin, it is similar to a lunch box kids would take to school. The tin is made to look like a television with dials and antenna, and the screen displays the constitution, Statue of Liberty, and America flag. Three of the true symbols of America. An actual use for this object is hard to imagine. Obviously, a lunch box is one use, or storage for other items. I'm not sure what the appeal of the tv is to people. Anyone have any feedback on this object?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Light Tribute

This is truly the first object I acquired that was the start to my collection. I purchased this in a store (name escapes me) on Main Street in Saratoga Springs late 2001 or Spring of 2002. The pictures don't quite illustrate what it is, but if you are familiar with the 50's car pictures with blinking tail lights you may see at a local diner or restaurant, this the same object. It is an interesting collection of images with the twin towers in the skyline and fire trucks and finally roses with a poem at the bottom of the picture. Lights blink on top of the towers and the fire trucks, bringing the picture to life in a way. This object is a mass-produced tribute item. I'm sure there could other connections evident. For example, I would think this type of object could be contrasted against the painted battle depictions or tribute art of the 18th or 19th centuries.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Rolling Tribute

One of my favorite objects, this model truck is a detailed replica of an actual semi-truck and trailer a MN truck driver created as a traveling memorial to September 11th. The model truck is detailed on both sides and even remote-controlled. The actual semi-truck is an example of the meaning September 11th took on for Americans everywhere, and the ways they connected with this tragic event. The toy replica is meant for those who can't own the real thing, and want their own rolling tribute. More thoughts to come on this object.

Here are some additional details about the story behind the actual truck that this was based on:

Their names are John & Amy Holmgren. They live in Shafer Minn. They thought this would be a nice tribute to the people that lost their lives. It has every name of each person that lost their life on 9-11. This concept was thought up by John and Amy, and totally paid for by them. John says he will be awhile paying the loan off that he had to take out to do it but, thought this was the least he could do. Applied Graphics in Fargo ND did most of the work and Paul Kosenski did the Hand painting. He said that he got to meet the Country Singer Darryl Worley, who Sang the song "Have You Forgotten" and has gotten pulled over 3 times by the police just to get their picture taken by this truck. (I would have pulled him over too!!) He plans on attending the Mid America Truck show in Louisville KY in March. I thought our employees may enjoy seeing the pics. It is called the Rolling 9-11 Memorial, it has all the names of the people that were killed on that day and the flights they were on plus some other graphics on the side of the Tractor.

9-11 Rolling Memorial Truck Pictures
Cab Picture
Cab Picture 2
Hood of Truck
Rear of Truck
Side of Truck
Side 2
Side 3
Side 4